Am I going nuts?
Well luckily, in this instance, I can say not quite! Although peanuts are today's topic, technically they are in the legume family. Also found in that family are beans and peas. So maybe I'm not quite as nuts as they say.
We had an interesting run with growing peanuts this year. I was on the lookout for more summer friendly crops in this sweltering Texas heat. One of those crops were peanuts. I simply went to the grocery store and bought a bag of raw shelled Spanish peanuts. I chose Spanish because my research showed they contained the highest amount of oil for making butter.
I stuck the nuts in the ground and up they came. They did exceptionally well throughout the summer, and they weren't too needy either. I will say I picked them prematurely... Apparently, peanuts have an extremely long growing season, which now that I know, they will go in much earlier next spring. So up came the bunches of peanuts and then the work began. Hours of picking shells and cleaning debris led to a bunch of peanuts ready to be roasted. Peanuts are prone to sometimes carry aflatoxin in the shell, so it is very recommended to roast them before consumption to kill anything that may be present.
The roasting process was simple.
Just baked one layer at a time on a flat baking pan for anywhere from 7 to 15 minutes. You have to really pay attention to them, and flip them halfway through to prevent burning. Trust me... I burnt some! Now that I had a good amount roasted and ready to go, to shelling I went. After shelling all the peanuts, I had to go back and pick off all the skins around the nut. Technically I could leave the thin skins on and make butter, but you'd probably be picking those things out of your teeth. Next came the blending process... considering I'm not a commercial peanut butter maker, I used a blender for this process rather than a churner. Basically, all I did was pulse it over and over until I achieved the consistency I liked- smooth with a bit of crunch. I chose not to add any honey or sweetener to it just because I wasn't sure if everyone liked their peanut butter sweet or not. So for the sake of all the taste testers, I left it unsweetened. It came out very nice and tasty, quite surpassing my expectations on my first go round of peanuts. So you be the judge, am I going nuts?